News Local/State

College Students Rally At The Statehouse

Students rally at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday.

Students rally at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday. WUIS

Some 200 hundred students rallied in the Illinois Capitol Building Wednesday. They’re asking the state’s political leaders to restore funding for universities and colleges. Many of the demonstrators receive MAP grants, which help lower-income students.

Yozeli Montenegro is a senior at Dominican University in River Forest. She says she worked all summer to help pay off the money she was supposed to get from the MAP program. Her mother is still working to fill the gap.

“She works overtime, she works 12 hours a day," she said. "And then she worked extra days just to be able to pay it off because it’s the only way she could afford to.”

Kiasee Ray is a freshman at Dominican University.

She says the MAP grant is the reason she’s in college today.

“I’m the only salvation that my family has right now. Neither of my parents are employed and I’m working my behind off to even pay for my own tuition and not have to ask for them to come out of pocket for them,” Ray said.

Dominican says its students are waiting on $5.1 million from the state. A bill in the Senate would restore the MAP program to previous levels, but its fate is tied to the so-called grand bargain.